China is entering a "museum era," a senior industry insider said here at the forum "China in Focus" held over the weekend by the University of Warwick.
Phillip Dodd, who had been director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) before founding consultancy Made in China, said China was building or opening more public and private museums than ever.
"The museum era" is an epitome of a wider range of cultural and creative events happening in China. "As Chinese people get wealthier, their demand for cultural staff is rising," said Dodd, who now focuses on developing cultural, educational and commercial projects between Britain and China.
He said China had come to a stage of cultural economy with plenty of signs implicating a blossoming creative industry.
For instance, China now has over 400 design schools. The number of cinemas in China saw a 30-percent rise in the past three years to around 11,000. China's fashion brand Bosideng opened a flagship store in London's South Molton Street, a cluster of trendy fashion and jewellery shops.
Rising wage levels and hiking labor costs, shift to an aging society and the need to rebrand China from "Made in China" to "Created in China" all required the country to develop the cultural sector and creative industries so as to move up the value chain, Dodd said.
However, while it is still at an early stage without enough experience or talents and effective ways to stop plagiarism, China's culture economy faced huge challenges.
"This is a transitional period, and China needs time to go through this period just as any other country does," he said.